When It Comes to Conservation, the Tables Slowly Turn in the Global North-South Divide

Announced at a recent United Nations summit on biodiversity, India’s pledge of $50 million to assist developing countries with conservation efforts marks a significant shift in the way environmental protection is funded worldwide.

October 28, 2012, 11:00 AM PDT

By Erica Gutiérrez

It's not the amount itself that has impressed so many, but rather the symbolism behind it; this type of conservation funding has traditionally been within the purview of richer, developed counterparts, reports Vivekananda Nemana. "That's a great initiative," said Lasse Gustavsson, conservation director of the World Wide Fund for Nature. "It won't go far, but you're now seeing this tendency for strong leadership on conservation from the emerging economies."

Due partly to the global economic slowdown's effect on spending in developed countries, and the concomitant rise in economic and political power of developing countries like India, China, and Brazil, "there has been a rise in so-called South-South cooperation, in which developing countries provide each other economic and technical assistance," notes Nemana. In addition to financing from South Korea, Brazil and China, "[d]ozens of other regional efforts have sprouted across Latin America, Africa and Asia," says Nemana, and this trend is expected to continue.

Furthermore, there has also been a push to find more synergy between poverty reduction programs and conservation efforts. "An August 2012 study [PDF] by the Indian government found that it already spent nearly $1 billion per year on development programs that had environmental benefits but that there was much more scope to make poverty-reduction programs greener." The study's author, Damodaran Appukuttawarns, warns, "What is happening right now is that funds are being diverted from poverty alleviation to look at forests. So you have to have a complete paradigm change in the way of looking at conservation, where protected biodiversity is integrated into development."

"In all likelihood, any fundamental shift in who leads the world's conservation efforts will take time," says Nemana. "Still, economic and environmental experts at the convention saw a new trend emerging from the changing global landscape."

Tuesday, October 23, 2012 in The New York Times

Chicago Commute

Planning for Congestion Relief

The third and final installment of Planetizen's examination of the role of the planning profession in both perpetuating and solving traffic congestion.

May 12, 2022 - James Brasuell

Twin Cities

Minneapolis Housing Plan a Success—Not for the Reason You Think

Housing advocates praise the city’s move to eliminate single-family zoning by legalizing triplexes on single-family lots, but that isn’t why housing construction is growing.

May 13, 2022 - Reason

Single-Family Housing Construction

New White House Housing Initiative Includes Zoning Reform Incentives

The Biden administration this morning released a new program of actions intended to spur housing construction around the United States.

May 16, 2022 - The White House

University of Arizona

Proposed Transit Line Would Connect Downtown Tucson to Airport

Based on community input for a 15-mile transit line, residents want to see a focus on affordable housing development and anti-displacement measures.

4 hours ago - KGUN

Shuttered strip mall in Niland, California

Strip Malls as a Housing Solution

The American strip mall may be a dying breed of commercial development, but could the buildings serve a new use as sustainable housing?

6 hours ago - Yale Environment 360

Complete Street Vancouver

Study: Most of Vancouver Is a ‘15-Minute City’

A large majority of Vancouver residents can access a grocery store in 15 minutes or less by bicycle or on foot.

May 20 - Vancouver Sun

HUD’s 2022 Innovative Housing Showcase

HUD's Office of Policy Development and Research

Expanding HUD’s Eviction Protection Grant Program

HUD's Office of Policy Development and Research

New Updates on The Edge

HUD's Office of Policy Development and Research

Urban Design for Planners 1: Software Tools

This six-course series explores essential urban design concepts using open source software and equips planners with the tools they need to participate fully in the urban design process.

Hand Drawing Master Plans

This course aims to provide an introduction into Urban Design Sketching focused on how to hand draw master plans using a mix of colored markers.